Dune Part Two Review

REVIEW: Dune Part 2

Dune Part 2 is Denis Villeneuve’s second film in what looks to be an ongoing saga based on the Frank Herbert novels. After the spectacular first part, this follows in the same epic footsteps. However, it stumbles when straying from some of the original source material.

The film picks up where the first left off, with Paul Atreides (Timothée Chalamet) and his mother Jessica (Rebecca Ferguson) heading into the deserts of Arrakis with Fremen leader Stilgar (Javier Bardem), who believes Paul is the prophesied Lisan al Gaib who will return Arrakis to the paradise it used to be. They reach Sietch Tabr, Stilgar’s home, where Paul befriends Fremen fighter Chani (Zendaya) and Jessica is co-oerced by Stilgar into becoming their new Reverend Mother, which involves drinking a deadly poison that Jessica and her unborn daughter survive.

Dune Part Two Review

Paul begins to learn the ways of the Fremen, including learning their language, and their manner of fighting and riding a sandworm. He fights alongside them as they take down Harkonnen spice operations, determined to disrupt the supply of spice to the empire. Meanwhile, Jessica has begun to communicate with her unborn daughter and the pair plot to make the Fremen believe the prophecies about Paul.

Elsewhere in the empire, the Emperor (Christopher Walken) is downcast after his involvement in the assassination of House Atreides and his daughter Princess Irulan (Florence Pugh) is working with the Bene Gesserit to ensure her family’s survival. Baron Harkonnen (Stellan Skarsgård) is frustrated at the disruption to his spice production and replaces his nephew Rabban (Dave Bautista) with younger psychotic, murderous nephew Feyd-Rautha (Austin Butler) in a bid to resume his takeover of the planet. And with Paul’s notoriety increasing, it isn’t long before Feyd-Rautha begins to hunt him down in the desert, massacring any Fremen in his way. 

Dune Part Two Review

When it comes to sci-fi, Denis Villeneuve certainly knows what he’s doing and his track record has more than proven this. Dune Part 2 is no different, it’s a visually stunning epic bit of cinema and the entire universe feels incredibly vast and well thought out. From the sand-filled world of Arrakis to the monochromatic nightmare of the Harkonnen home planet, the visuals are truly striking. In fact, I found the black and white Harkonnen scenes to be some of the most enjoyable of the entire film as they were in such stark contrast to the rest of the action set on Arrakis.

Timothée Chalamet is brilliant again as Paul and proves to be a compelling and strong lead. Josh Brolin’s return as Gurney Halleck is very welcome as he provides some much-needed comic relief alongside Javier Bardem’s Stilgar, moments that are few and far between but definitely provide some lightness to the heavy dialogue and the almost 3-hour runtime. Austin Butler exudes terror and is really quite disturbing, especially in his initial scenes, although I do wish we could have seen more of him. While nearly all of the cast both new and returning are welcome, a surprising addition that really doesn’t work is Christopher Walken as the Emperor. He seems entirely out of place and the role just isn’t suited for him.

Dune Part Two Review

Overall I do have issues with how this film has changed the story from the book, as I don’t think it works as well. The book features a time jump of years while Paul learns the ways of the Fremen and becomes their leader, and his sister is born and grows up. However, the film is set over the space of a few months and I think it suffers from this decision. It doesn’t seem long enough for Paul to develop into what he needs to be and I found the talking to his unborn sister/Jessica’s daughter and the visuals of the foetus quite irritating and unnecessary. Considering the length of this film, there’s no reason why the time jump wouldn’t have worked and may have made the story a little more believable. 

I also felt like the timings in this film felt very off-pace. Some scenes were unnecessarily dragged out and others, like the massive battle in the finale, were over far too quickly in mere moments. The first film was also slower-paced, it never got to the point where anything felt dragged out and instead, it did well to explain the in-depth story and background without ever feeling bogged down. Part two sadly doesn’t manage this anywhere near as well, instead there are parts where it becomes a little confusing and maybe even a bit dull. 

Dune Part 2 is a visually stunning film that is certainly a masterclass in sci-fi from director Denis Villeneuve. However, the pace and the deviation from the original novel mean this isn’t quite as enjoyable as Part 1.

Where to Watch

Dune: Part Two | March 1, 2024 (United Kingdom) 8.9


See all photos >>

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Scroll to Top